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Udupi Decked Up for Krishna Jayanti
Posted on 2001/9/12 23:48:02 ( 607 reads )


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UDUPI, INDIA, Sept. 13, 3001: "Everyone must do duty, honestly, sincerely and diligently and this is the highest offer to God. This is Lord Krishna's message to the mankind," according to Vishweshatheertha Swamiji of Pejawar Adokshaja Math, Udupi Krishna Temple. Krishanashtami was being celebrated in Udupi on September 10. He said the Krishna Jayanti was celebrated in Udupi according to the solar calendar whereas elsewhere in the country it's celebrated according to the lunar calendar. The Krishna Math, temple and its surroundings are wearing a festive look for the celebration and thousands of devotees from across the state have descended on the temple town. Pujas coupled with cultural, musical and dance programs form the integral part of the two-day celebration.




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Ayurvedic College in Bad Shape
Posted on 2001/9/12 23:47:02 ( 717 reads )


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PATNA, INDIA, Sept. 13, 2001: Though the Government Ayurvedic College, Patna, located in Kadamkuan, would celebrate its Platinum Jubilee in December 2001, since the last three years no medicines have been purchased for the college pharmacy despite allotments. This reports blames local politics and stonewalling amongst appointees who run the college. The college which was established with a view to serve the ailing humanity, especially the poor people who are unable to meet the expenses of modern allopathic treatment, is neglected. This college has 12 departments, but all suffer due to lack of teachers. The college is running with a strength of two professors and four assistant professors.16 posts of lecturers are lying vacant in the college and the college is being run at the strength of 32 lecturers. Students are not interested in taking admission here, said Baliram, the principal. He said that the the number of students studying in this college, in all three semesters, comes to just 200.




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Thousands of Hindu Dalits Convert
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:49:02 ( 650 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, Sept. 9, 2001: Thousands of Dalits, often segregated as "untouchables" in India's Hindu caste hierarchy, converted to Buddhism at in a northern Indian city. Leaders of the late-Saturday ritual by some 6,000 Dalits said they were protesting discrimination by upper caste people and India's failure to raise caste issues at the racism conference in Durban, South Africa that concluded over the weekend. In Kanpur, 240 miles southeast of India's capital, New Delhi, hundreds of monks in flowing robes arrived from Nepal, Japan and other countries to witness the ceremony, which was presided over by a Japanese Buddhist priest. Participants were distributed posters condemning Hinduism, the religion of India's overwhelming majority. Several Dalit groups had met in the South African city to press for inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the U.N. World Conference on Racism. They said caste-based discrimination in India was as bad as racial discrimination in other parts of the world. But Indian officials lobbied, and succeeded, in keeping it off the conference declaration.




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Reward for Making Eco-Friendly Ganesh Idols
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:48:02 ( 659 reads )


Source: The Hindu





HYDERABAD, INDIA, SEPT. 6, 2001: The city Police Commissioner, Mr. P. Ramulu, has announced a reward of $1,063 for anyone who designs or uses eco-friendly material like hay pulp for preparing Ganesh icons. The Commissioner observed that it would be of great help to Ganesh icon makers if such an eco-friendly model of Ganesh icon was designed within three months from now so as to emulate the same for the next Ganesh festival, according to a press release. This would help bring harmony between the environmental compulsions and religious sentiments, he said. With the immersion of more than 10,000 Ganesh icons in Hussainsagar each year, many made of nonbiodegradable materials, a difference of opinion has developed between devotees and environmentalists.




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Gallop Poll: Belief in Extra-Sensory Phenomena Rises in USA
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:47:02 ( 693 reads )


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PRINCETON, USA, Sept, 08, 2001: What exactly do Americans believe in when it comes to the paranormal, the occult and "out-of-this-world" experiences? The Gallup Poll recently updated its audit of American belief in a variety of these types of phenomena. Only one of the experiences tested has seen a drop in belief since 1990: devil possession. Overall, half or more of Americans believe in two of the issues: psychic or spiritual healing, and extrasensory perception (ESP). A third or more believe in such things as haunted houses, possession by the devil, ghosts, telepathy, extraterrestrial beings having visited Earth and clairvoyance. Perhaps not surprisingly, the major difference in belief in these phenomena by importance of religion focuses on the devil: 55% of those who say religion is very important in their daily lives say they believe in devil possession, compared to just 14% of those who say religion is "not very" important to them.




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Student Brutally Beaten by Professor
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:46:02 ( 600 reads )


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THANE, INDIA, Sept. 8, 2001: A 17-year-old student, Avishkar Dangat, of Thane's Dnyansadhana College was hospitalized with a cerebral concussion after being brutally beaten by his physics teacher. An incensed Professor P Albange held the Standard XII student by his hair, kicked him in the groin and legs and banged his head against a wall during a five-minute ordeal. Avishkar's father, Dr Dhananjay Dangat, a general practitioner, said his son would be kept in hospital for 24-hour observation. Principal R Vishe rushed Dangat to Mahavarkar Nursing Home at Hari Niwas, Thane. Avishkar recalled the moments of terror. "Some students were teasing Albange Sir when he was writing on the board. When he turned around, my misfortune was that I was sitting right in front of him." The professor then vented his ire on the boy. Even as Avishkar pleaded to be spared further agony, Albange allegedly continued to slap him. The Dangats have reported the matter to the Wagle Estate Police Station and Sub-Inspector Vijay Sonawane is conducting the investigation. The teacher has been suspended and the matter reported to the college trustees. For public comments, e-mail kishore@mid-day.com.




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Value of Ancient Herb Confirmed
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:45:02 ( 726 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, August 26, 2001: Over 2,500 years ago, ayurvedic physicians were able to effectively treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) with an herb called guggul. This article details how the wonder of this herb was somewhat "lost" until 1966 when G.V. Satyavati, a young Indian doctoral candidate from Banares University, reported that the herb had been used to treat obesity and fat disorders in ancient times. She made a direct correlation that guggul could be used to reduce cholesterol. Inspired by her discovery, Satyavati proceeded to carry out laboratory tests on rabbits (animal testing, the article doesn't mention, is forbidden in ayurveda) and the studies revealed that the animals were protected from hardening of the arteries when the herb reduced the level of cholesterol in their blood. Further studies all confirm that the herb does lower cholesterol. Guggul has no side-effects, it increases thyroid function, helps the body burn calories and assists the body in breaking up blood clots which could prevent a stroke. While it is commendable that the virtues of guggul are being recognized, this is also an example of Western researchers laying claim to cures that were recognized thousands of years ago.




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Cardinal Laments That Christianity "Almost Vanquished in UK"
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:44:02 ( 659 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, September 6, 2001: Christianity has been "all but eliminated" as a source of moral guidance in people's lives, according to the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor also lamented the fact people were "indifferent" to Christian values and the Church when he addressed the National Conference of Priests in Leeds. "In our countries in Britain today, especially in England and Wales, that Christianity, as a sort of backdrop to people's lives and moral decisions - and to the government, the social life of the country - has now almost been vanquished," the Archbishop said. He added that music, new age and occult practices seemed to be replacing Christ as something in which young people could trust. The remarks come against a background of a steady decline in attendance at mass and a worsening shortage of priests. Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offenses against children. In July, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor himself acknowledged he had made a mistake after it emerged that as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton he appointed a pedophile priest as chaplain to the Gatwick Airport chapel despite concerns about his behavior. Father Michael Hill, who was released from prison last autumn, served three and a half years of a five-year sentence imposed in 1997 for nine sex attacks.




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French Devotees Celebrate Lord Vinayaka's Birthday
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:49:02 ( 382 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, September 3, 2001: Celebrating Ganesha's birthday with pomp and gaiety, French Hindus honored the Lord of Categories in a procession for seven kilometers in about four hours. Ganesha murthis were mounted on a five-metre-tall chariot outside the Mannika Temple and pulled by devotees amidst devotional singing, dancing, and offering of sweets. Traditionally, the murthis would have been immersed in a river, but this parade returned to the temple where thousands of coconuts were offered to Ganesha before his Murthi was returned to the sanctum. For the occasion, Paris decorated its streets, loud speakers played hymns praising Lord Vinayaka, the press promoted the festival and thousands were able to express their bhakti.




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Persecution Forcing Hindus to Flee Pakistan
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:48:02 ( 683 reads )


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PAKISTAN, September 5, 2001: Religious persecution and violation of human rights are forcing Hindus in Pakistan to flee to India, a Pakistani migrants association said today. Each month groups of persecuted Hindus are coming to India in the hope of a better future, but they face a tough time due to the lack of a refugee policy in the country, the Visthapit Sangh said. There are 17,000 Hindu refugees who have yet to get Indian citizenship. Five thousand of them live in Jodhpur alone. Many of those who arrived in India as refugees in 1965 have also not received citizenship, convenor of the Sangh, Hindu Singh Sodha, told reporters. Others are scattered in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore and Pali districts. He said the Centre should amend the Citizenship Act and fix a time limit for granting citizenships. He also said the government should review the rehabilitation policy prepared in 1978 for those living in camps after leaving Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.




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Prayer in US Schools Doesn't Mean Christian Prayer
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:47:02 ( 660 reads )


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USA, September 8, 2001: A frequent proposal from the Christian Right in America is for a constitutional amendment to allow voluntary prayer in public schools. Proponents will cite results from the Gallup poll, such as at "source," which show 78% of Americans support such an amendment. What they don't usually cite is the response to this question Gallup also posed: "Suppose spoken prayers were allowed in the local public schools. Do you believe that the prayers should be basically Christian, reflecting Christian beliefs and values, or should the prayers reflect all major religions, including Christianity?" 76% say the prayers should "reflect all major religions" and only 18% say basically Christianity. So if the amendment ever does pass -- a very unlikely scenario -- Hindu and Buddhist prayers would be just as eligible for the classroom as anything from Christianity.




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Parents Face New Smacking Ban
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:46:02 ( 672 reads )


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SCOTLAND, U.K., September, 6, 2001: Parents in Scotland will not be able to smack children under the age of three under proposals announced by the Scottish Executive. The move, unveiled on Thursday by Justice Minister Jim Wallace, will also make it illegal to hit children on the head, shake them or strike them with an implement. The proposals will also see a ban on corporal punishment in childcare centres, by childminders and in non-publicly funded pre-school centres. Opposition parties gave a mixed response to the plan -- the Scottish National Party said it would support the move, while the Conservatives branded it "misconceived." "While we believe that parents should have the rights to set the grounds for the discipline of their children, we felt there was a strong need for greater clarification of the law as to what is defined a 'reasonable' punishment," said Wallace.




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Ayodhya Stone Inscription Details
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:45:02 ( 866 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, September 8, 2001: For those interested in the stone inscription found in Babri Masjid (HPI, September 5), go to "source" above for a detailed summary including the stone inscription.




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Vegetarian Resource Group Offers College Course on Vegetarianism
Posted on 2001/9/7 23:44:02 ( 638 reads )


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BOSTON, MASSACHUCETTS, September 8, 2001: Vegetarian Resource Group now offers a college-level online course on vegetarianism, taught by Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD. Originally designed as an advanced nutrition class for culinary students, the course has been expanded to include topics of interest for everyone interested in food, health, small business, and vegetarianism. For more information online go to source above.




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Sabarimala: Concern Over Rise in Ecology Issues
Posted on 2001/9/6 23:49:02 ( 710 reads )


Source: The Hindu





PATHANAMTHITA, INDIA, September 2, 2001: The Pampa Parirakshana Samithi (PPS), a Kozhencherry-based environmental organization which has been crusading for the cause of the river Pampa, has said that it is high time the government took serious note of the alarmingly high environmental issues at Sabrimala, Kerala's most popular pilgrimage destination. The PPS general secretary, Mr. N.K. Sukumaran Nair, said that a study by two expert scientific teams had revealed that the chances of landslips and tremors at the holy hillock due to the extensive concrete flooring at Sabarimala Sannidhanam are very high. However, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the administrative body of the Lord Ayyappa temple, continues to initiate more construction activities at Pampa and Sabarimala. What is needed at Sabarimala are not multi-storied complexes but temporary shelters and fool-proof mechanism for sanitation and drinking water without disturbing the ecology and environment of the sacred grove opined many Ayyappa devotees. The eco group leader said that it is the obligation of the State government to preserve the wildlife and rivers from environmental degradation. The flow of filth into the river has raised the coliform count in the Pampa river waters drastically, Mr. Nair alleged. Mr. Nair stressed the need for pilgrim shelters at different base camps to minimize the human pressure on the holy hillock.




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